Citizens in Iceland and airlines throughout Europe remain on edge today. Seismic activity remains high around the Bardarbunga volcano. Here’s the latest on what’s going on with the volcano.
Airlines remain on high alert. The number of earthquakes around the volcano prompted Iceland officials to raise its risk level to air travel to ‘code orange.’ Fears are growing of a similar situation we saw back in 2010, when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted. That eruption sent an ash plume far into the sky shutting down Europe’s airspace for 6 days. That resulted in the cancellation of more than 100,000 flights and cost airlines $1.8 billion. Not to mention the economic disruption in these countries.
Code orange means the volcano is now “escalating unrest with the increased potential of eruption.”
Evacuations. People living near the Bardarbunga volcano are being evacuated by Iceland’s civil protection authority. “This decision is a safety measure,” according to the authority’s website.
“It cannot be ruled out that the seismic activity in Bardarbunga could lead to a volcano eruption.” They were quick to point out that there’s no sight of that yet.
The 2010 eruption did cause flooding in southern Iceland, but no deaths were reported. Iceland officials want a similar outcome if Bardarbunga erupts.
Tours to Bardarbunga. If you want a closer look at the volcano, one tour group is setting up tours according to Telegraph. Any thrill seekers out there could get a front seat to the show if Bardarbunga blows.
There’s still a lot of unknowns surrounding a potential Bardarbunga eruption. The severity of the eruption depends on where the magma reaches the surface and how much. The make-up of a potential ash cloud and how far it goes in the air will dictate the impact on air travel.
Image above: Eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010. Credit: Getty Images